Wherever you are in the world, and at whatever time and day you are reading this…
I welcome you to Backwards Week!
Your next 7 days can be transformational if you wish.
If you accept the challenge below, (it’s easy and fun), you will be testing yourself and only you will be holding yourself accountable.
There is no pass or fail, but merely the opportunity to take a short journey of exploration into yourself.
A quick background to the theory of Backwards Week takes us to the cellular level of existence in our Central Nervous System.
The electrical impulses that govern movement start in your brain. They are necessary for a though to become an action.
The thought creates a spark, which travels down the spinal cord, shoots out at the appropriate nerve root, and triggers a muscle to contract.
This roadmap can be called a Neural Pathway.
Every time you have the same thought, the impulse strengthens the path it travels.
These pathways become so well worn, your regular desires and actions start to occur subconsciously.
And without conscious desire, the thought/action relationship becomes a habit.
You may have noticed that as young children start to explore their coordination, they are more ambidextrous than adults. They may kick a ball left-footed and throw a ball right-handed. Their pathways are not yet defined.
In times of yesteryear, left handed children were forced to use their right hand in school. With practice, neural pathways would have developed, until it became their norm.
But let’s take a present day real-world example.
Imagine walking across a busy street with traffic coming from both directions. You need to be aware. You need to be in the present moment – using logic to determine when it is safe to cross. Your brain consciously yells, “Now Now Now!” and the impulse triggers your feet to move at the appropriate speed.
Compare that to brushing your teeth – a physical act that I’m sure you have performed thousands of times. For the minute of brushing, I bet your mind is elsewhere. Your arm is on automatic pilot. The neural pathway between your brain and the toothbrush are so well worn, the signal and action happens unconsciously, or without your awareness.
So let’s look at this from a spiritual perspective.
One big aspect of spiritual growth is awareness. Awareness happens when you are living in the present; consciously creating every breath of your existence.
People sit to meditate in an attempt be in the present moment, without the distractions of the mind – but the greater challenge is to live continually in this conscious mind space. Awareness allows you to feel better connected with your true-self, and intuitive abilities.
Backwards Week is all about breaking the habits you perform without your conscious awareness.
It’s about making your electrical signals travel a new path.
Sound difficult? Well the first step, if you decide to participate, is to grab a clean piece of paper.
Now, with your left hand grab a pen and write;
“My name is (your name), and this is the 1st step of Backwards Week.”
Go on, stop reading this page, and write that sentence with your left hand now.
(And if you are one of the 10% of lefty’s, no cheating… use your right hand smarty’s!)
Harder than it sounded? Does it look like handwriting from when you were 5? Get some letters backwards or upside down? I did.
In 7 days from now, I want you to write with your left hand underneath that; “My name is (your name), and this is the last step of Backwards Week.”
Now the effort you put in between now and then is entirely up to you. But you will be amazed by your progress!
But the challenge is not to improve your handwriting.
It is to live more in the present moment by eliminating unconscious habitual actions; creating new neural pathways.
I’ll list some basics here – but living consciously means you need to find your own habitual actions.
That is part of the challenge.
Start by brushing your teeth with your non dominant hand. The first time I tried this I had to hold my left hand still and move my head back and forth. It was embarrassing, but it made me laugh. (Brushing my teeth was an excellent daily indicator of how quickly my coordination improved.)
Butter your bread left handed. Swap your knife and fork hands. Change hands for TV remote control. Use the opposite thumb when texting. If you always hold the phone to one ear, change it. Sleep on the opposite side of the bed.
You will see significant improvements in your awareness by finding though/action habits to break.
This whole exercise really is 4 simple steps.
1. Find as many situations as you can which are physically habitual and require no conscious awareness.
2. Challenge yourself to create new neural pathways. (Each time you do it for each different habit gets easier)
3. Swap hands immediately without reprimanding yourself every time you catch yourself in a previous habit.
4. Celebrate your progress at the end of the week, and congratulate yourself for exploring your spiritual growth.
I invite you to share your experiences below.
What was the hardest habit to break? What action improved the most for you?
In Love and Light, We Explore!
Namaste, Nigel Coates.
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